Juliane Henkel from Germany turns pandemic into opportunity
CORFU. Her products, made in Corfu, won three awards in 2020.
Juliane Henkel from Germany, who lives in Corfu with her family, managed to turn the current crisis into an opportunity. Starting with a successful e-shop, she was quickly able to open a physical shop in Gilford St. last November during the lockdown. She now also employs another girl and provides a good example of female entrepreneurship.
Juliane, who is a member of the group Corfu Design Route, says that it all began in 2017, when she applied to the ESPA funding programme for start-up businesses. She received approval in Spring 2018 and, following a year of preparation, she opened her e-shop. Public response and the demand for her handmade baby and toddler shoes, suitable for home and childcare centres, led to her moving out of the workshop she had on one floor of a building in Sotiros and opening a shop in the heart of Corfu Town.
"We sew the shoes and complete the whole production here," she says. "I got the idea from my own children. I wanted them to be able to move comfortably when they were playing and to have warm feet at home. I didn't want them to wear shoes with hard soles at home and to have plastic on their feet. I tried to find something suitable, but wasn't able to, so I ordered from abroad and then started to make them myself."
The children's shoes, made from Nappa leather, vegetable tanned, chrome free and without plastic coating, have been a huge success both in Greece and internationally and won 3 Mother and Baby Awards in 2020 - Platinum, Gold and Silver.